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>The Day I Met PPP And Martha Raddatz

>By Don White
It was a great day. It was the day my son clued me in on PayPerPost and the day I met Martha Raddatz on my web site. PayPerPost has a large coterie of bloggers convinced that they can make a difference in the world while making money.

Veteran ABC war correspondent Martha Raddatz became my friend that day. She has put her life on the line many times and I admire her courage. An email came around that had the potential of smearing this wonderful reporter and I fell for it initially but quickly retracted. She said she had not interviewed 60 soldiers with 55 favoring John McCain. Major General Buckman did not originate this unfortunate email. Had I not “had fun” that day checking sources, I would have been gravely in error. I got the nicest email I have ever received. Martha Raddatz thanked me for setting the record straight and for “diving in front of the bullet meant for her,” stifling the unfortunate character assassination attempt. She complimented me graciously for my efforts and it’s all documented on Political Disconnect.

Meanwhile, that day I learned how much fun one can have working with PayPerPost, people who are also dedicated to honor and truth in their work. Sometimes much good can come from errors if we’re willing to admit we were wrong.

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>Martha Radditz and the Major General Buckman Myth

>Through investigating the Web, and through blogs made today, I have found that there is no truth to the myth perpetrated by an email. It basically accused ABC Reporter Martha Radditz of fabricating a story about who the troops favored for president and used the name of a respected retired general, MG Buckman, as its author which is not true.

Here’s what I found:
1. Major General Cass Buckman does not have a niece named Katelyn. If he does, she was not involved and nothing said in the article about her hearing Marcha Radditz interview several troops is true.
2. Reporter Radditz did not interview 60 military personnel, with 54 saying they would vote for McCain, and then turn around and put only 5 of them (Democrats all) on her TV report with, reportedly, none of them intending to vote for John McCain. That just did not happen, contrary to the story sent to this blog and published previously. That story has earlier been repudiated and removed from this blog. Radditz told me, Don White, that she covered the trip of Vice President Dick Cheney, not that of John McCain, which was an inaccuracy in the previous story sent around to people in email format.

We have not interviewed General Buckman–and I won’t–but Lewis Perdue received a recorded message from him disavowing any connection to the story. Perdue is a former instructor for 20 years at Cornell University and maintained a blog called “There Will Be Truth,”

As pointed out by reporter Martha Radditz, so many people have called General Buckman to verify he did not author that story that it is not only superfluous but impolite to do it again. I will but quote a reliable source in Mr. Perdue as follows:


OGLiberal said…

Intellius search comes up with a Louis Cass Buckman in Austin, TX, age 75. He’s probably your guy given the birth date and middle initial in his bio. Yahoo! People search provides an address and phone:

Louis Buckman
AUSTIN, TX 78750
(512) 250-5018

Public records…give him a call.
July 10, 2008 12:50 PM

(that was the recorded message. I hope no one will call that number and bother the good man again on this embarrassment).
Martha Radditz told me, Don White, that Buckman lived in Austin, TX., but would not or could not give me the phone number.

Lewis Perdue said…

I called and left a message on his answering machine about an hour ago.
July 11, 2008 11:20 AM
Lewis Perdue said…

Since I can’t write new posts on this blog, I’ve posted the new info about General Buckman here:


Major General Buckman: “Did Not Author That Email”
July 14th, 2008

On July 7, I wrote a post, Major General Buckman, Urban Legend describing an email bearing his name that concerned Iraq news coverage by ABC News Correspondent Martha Raddatz.

As I stated in that earlier post, I felt the email in question had the signs of an urban legend.

I called Maj. General Louis C. Buckman on July 11 and left a message on his home answering machine.

He returned my call today when I was on another line. His message was short and to the point: “I did not author that email … absolutely not.”

The email is, in essence, a forgery, disinformation designed to discredit Martha Raddatz.

The truth is now clear.

I hope the record on this unfortunate story is closed.

>Martha Raddatz Repudiates Previous Story: It’s Time For America To Speak Up

This is a rebuttal to the article we posted earlier today about an alleged “poll” taken by ABC News. The reporter completely repudiates the story and brands it a smear tactic by those who gave us the information. If that is the case, and we intend to investigate further, we sincerely apologize to Ms. Raddatz.

[Political Disconnect] New comment on It's Time For America To Speak Up.
Monday, July 14, 2008 1:24 PM
Martha has left a new comment on your post “It’s Time For America To Speak Up”:

From Martha Raddatz……Dear all….You are passing on rumors that are not true. Your “trained” journalist should certainly know better than to believe something that comes via a mass email …and she should certainly know that you should check your facts before you forward them and sully someones reputation. This is an internet smear that has been going around for a month.. I will attach my original email in response to the smear. Also…since I wrote the response, MG Buckman (Air Force retired) has told a mutual acquaintance he is embarrassed his name was attached (he just forwarded the email like others…he does NOT have a niece Katelyn) Here is my original response

Dear all,

I just received your email chain from a friend and I must say I am so saddened by it…..saddened because such a group was so quick to pass on false internet rumors at the expense of my reputation. As I write this, I am on my 17th trip to Iraq with our US forces. I have spent countless hours reporting on the troops during this conflict, and also spend a good deal of my personal time with the wounded and US military families when I am back home. I wrote a book last year, “The Long Road Home” about the battle of Sadr City which was praised as non-political and a tribute to our forces. And yet this internet rumor has gone viral precisely because people in your group and others pass this rumor onto others. The story that was supposedly told by “Katelyn” is simply not true. First…she must have a hundred aunts and uncles because whoever is forwarding it usually claims to be a close friend of one of them. I never went on a trip with John McCain…and I certainly didn’t interview 60 soldiers about who they are voting for. These attacks on me started because of a story that aired after a visit I took in March to Balad air base with Vice President Cheney. I followed him down a rope line and was surprised to see how many of the military personnel (largely Air Force) said they supported Barack Obama. I did not talk to many more than a dozen service members.I was with the VP and had no time! There were, of course McCain supporters and Clinton supporters, as well…which I mentioned in the story. But this was not a poll. It was simply surprising that that so many came forward to voice support for a candidate who is advocating withdrawal, just moments after cheering for the vice president. So if there is in fact a “Katelyn” she is making this up. Not only that, she could not possibly have heard me in the noisy crowd. If you would like to check my integrity with some high ranking active duty officers please feel free to do so. And, please, if any of you actually knows retired MG Buckman , please pass on his email address and this email so I can let him know what he has started. I assume he would not want this to continue or have any role in it.

Please feel free to share this email. Thanks so much for understanding how important my bond with the troops is and how important I feel it is to cover the amazing job they do on a daily basis.
Martha Raddatz

Posted by Martha to Political Disconnect at July 14, 2008 10:24 AM